Zhen Shi scowled in annoyance as he dashed out of the pavilion making use of [Draconic Wind Steps] to his limit. To forget the embarrassment of having been caught in a lie, he was leaving as fast as possible.
Seeing his elder brother run away so fast, Will O'Dale hurriedly called upon the full power of his Soul Formation cultivation and dashed after him as well.
However, as the duo continued to dash forwards, the difference in their movement speed became glaringly obvious. After all, William was only using the power of his cultivation base, while Zhen Shi had the additional support of a Divine Movement skill.
As the distance between them began to widen, Will O'Dale began to shout, a strange sense of sorrow in his eyes, "Big bro! Wait for me!"
Zhen Shi, who was in a hurry to leave, decisively ignored those shouts.
He quickly flitted through the various roads leading to the other golden pavilions. Only leaving a few gusts of wind behind, he finally left the pavilion region and disappeared into the forest where the Bull manifestation had run into.
His wind-like speed caused quite a few guards and passersby to halt and stare in shock. Zhen Shi was moving so fast, it was difficult for these ordinary guards to see who he was. But considering his immense speed, none of them dared to make him stop either.
At this point, Will O'Dale who was forcing his speed to his absolute limit passed through as well. Despite his lesser speed, he was still fast enough to only be seen as a bloody scarlet blur.
Seeing the distance between him and Zhen Shi widening even further, he began to shout frantically, "Big Bro! Don't leave me!"
Almost as if he was worried that Zhen Shi didn't recognize who he was, he even added, "It's me! Little Scarlet! Why are you running away so fast?"
As those strange words left his mouth, the shocked gazes of the guards and the other passersby disappeared, their faces becoming rather strange.
However, they didn't dare make any assumptions. Coughing dryly they began to leave as if nothing had happened.
Having finally entered the forest, Zhen Shi came to an abrupt stop. He had definitely heard William's desperate shouts but seeing no reason to actually stop, he had continued on.
Just a single minute later, Will crashed into the forest as well and came to a stop heaving and panting. Raising his head at Zhen Shi as if he had been wronged, he spoke out pitifully, "Big brother, why did you run away so fast? Why did you not answer my calls?"
Zhen Shi didn't understand why this fellow was acting so strangely and pitifully, but he did feel a bit bad for ignoring him.
As such, he stuck up his chin in a grand manner, and began to explain, "You're actually asking why?! Isn't it obvious? I saw that your speed was a bit on the slow side and decided to give you some training! Even if it's only a little, it will still make you faster than before!"
Will O'Dale was shocked. Just like Zhen Shi said, he had forced himself to his limit in order to catch up. Now that he thought about it, he realized that he had actually surpassed his former limit. He hadn't thought that Zhen Shi had ignored him for such a selfless reason!
Ignoring his shocked expression, Zhen Shi proceeded to ask curiously, "Either way, wasn't that bit of an over-reaction on your part? To scream so much, just because I flew a bit too fast?"
Hearing this, William began to scratch his head awkwardly.
With an embarrassed expression, he began to explain, "It's nothing much really. Back when I was a little child, I would fall into a scarlet fuelled rage whenever I lost any game, and punch the winner until he was back and blue. But, after that happened, none of them would play with me again! They ignored me like I had the plague or something! Complete and utter bullies!
Chasing after you, reminded me of how I chased them in desperation to play again. In the end, I guess I did overreact a bit..."
Zhen Shi was speechless in the face of this strange childhood story, 'Seriously? Do you do that? Fuck! I'd run away too!
Wait... why does this sound so similar? This isn't what happened when I beat him in that fight before, right? He didn't just become angry and lose control because he lost, right? It was definitely a divine curse from Turnbull, right?'
Having thought so far, Zhen Shi became a bit suspicious.
In the end, considering that Myne had confirmed the use of a divine curse, Zhen Shi concluded he was thinking too much into it.
Shaking his head with an amused smile, he patted Will on the back, "Don't worry, bro. You don't have to worry about that anymore. You can rage as much as you want! We can handle it!"
Initially, Will had been thinking that it was a bit silly to open up about such childish matters. But hearing Zhen Shi's warm reply, he couldn't help but feel touched.
Besides his closest family, William didn't have any true friends to call upon. He knew that everyone was simply using him for his power until the day the divine organization decided to interfere and end him. As such, his life had been rather bleak up to this point.
However, Zhen Shi had treated him warmly and genuinely from the first time they met. Adding all the selfless support that Zhen Shi had granted him so far, William felt happier than he had ever been.
At this point, he calmly raised his head towards the sky and swore an oath to himself, 'From now on, Little Scarlet will follow his big bro to the ends of the world!'
Unaware of this serious oath, Zhen Shi was currently planning something utterly incongruent with Will's mental image of him.
'Yup, it's completely fine if Will goes into scarlet rage mode again. I can just ask Myne to seal the little devil until he calms down. Yup! A flawless plan!'
Turning to each other with gazes of profound satisfaction, the two fellows smiled warmly.
Just before the continuous smiling could become awkward, Zhen Shi suddenly remembered his entire purpose in coming here.
Slapping his forehead in exasperation for having forgotten the primary goal, Zhen Shi took a step forward and slowly spread his spiritual sense searching for any tracks.
Noticing what he was doing, Will spoke up, "Bro, do you need any help tracking that damned bull?"
Zhen Shi smiled and shook his head. He was planning on making use of <Odin's Missing Eye> in combination with his knowledge on divine beasts to track the bull manifestation.
However, when his spiritual sense reached his current limit of 100 m, his gaze shifted towards a certain direction, his eyes widening with disbelief.
Quickly dashing towards that direction, Zhen Shi pushed aside a rather large bush and a thick branch that obstructed the rest of the view and revealed a sight of absolute wreckage.
Except for the larger trees, everything else had been trampled and crushed! It was almost as if the Bull had forcefully paved an actual path through the forest!
Seeing the sight of the rough path that had been razed through the forest, they were once again reminded of the Bull manifestation's immense power... which was actually at the peak of the Law Primary Tier!
Despite the surprise of discovering this forest path, Zhen Shi quickly calmed down. With a grin, he spoke up, "C'mon Will, let's go. This will make things much easier to track the Bull."
Saying so, he dashed forward, flitting through the newly formed path across the forest. However, this time, he didn't go at his maximum speed and allowed Will O'Dale to catch up to him.
Once again, Will was touched unnecessarily by Zhen Shi's slightly thoughtful gesture.
Half an hour passed as they continued traveling through the forest. There were no signs of the Bull's tracks ending and seemed to stretch on towards the end of the forest.
Considering that the Bull was a Law tier manifestation, it was possible for it to last for a longer period of time. As such, Zhen Shi and Will O'Dale quickly picked up their speed.
Another half an hour passed as they finally reached the end of the forest, and came out on the other side of the forest.
Just a short distance away, they could see the wooden bridge that allowed entrance to the Market Island. Unfortunately, based on the deep hoof prints imprinted on the ground, it seemed that the Bull had actually passed the forest and crossed the bridge to leave the market island!
Zhen Shi began to feel a headache coming on. He hadn't thought that the Bull would actually escape the Island.
With an annoyed frown, he was just about to begin following the tracks, when suddenly...
A loud commotion was heard from the side, "Oi! Did you really think you could get away with biting the hand that feeds you? You actually dared to testify against our Lord? You shameless punk!"
Quickly turning around, Zhen Shi saw that in a nearby corner, a single guard was being overpowered and surrounded by five guards who had put him into chains.
The single guard struggled against his chains and shouted out in exasperation, "But it was the truth! I simply said the truth! My grand elder brother and his friends didn't do anything wrong! It was Lord Turnbull who initiated the conflict! He even attacked his own subordinate!"
Zhen Shi was caught off-guard by the relevance of this event to themselves. He carefully examined the chained guard and noticed some familiar bandages, with dried blood, wrapped around his lower body...
Zhen Shi's eyes widened as he realized who this guard was, he was Lance! Lance the Impaled!
One of the guards ripped off a small knife from Lance's hips, and said with greedy eyes, "Where you're going, you won't need this. We'll take good care of your soul tier weapon..."
Lance's struggles immediately grew much worse, as he began to roar out in exasperation, "Noo! My elder brother gave me that! Give it back!"
The five guards ignored his shouts and simply laughed derisively.
Zhen Shi heaved a sigh. Since Lance had fallen into trouble by trying to help them, he couldn't leave him alone in good conscience. His eyes flickered with bestial intent, as his foot instantly kicked down on the ground.
A gust of wind blasting around him, he activated [Draconic Wind Steps] and appeared next to Lance, surrounded by the five guards.
The five guards were also in the Soul Formation stage, but Zhen Shi had activated <Vermillion Dragonificiation> up to 50%!
The guards were caught by complete surprise and before they could even begin to react, Zhen Shi sent out a single punch towards them.
The punch didn't touch a single one of them, but the resulting wind was enough to send all of them crashing backward. The guards collapsed down to the ground, with their cultivation bases rattled and their blood in turmoil.
Staring up in fear, they could see that their attacker was at the same cultivation stage as them, but the power in his punch had been absolutely mind-numbing!
Despite the acute sense of danger that they felt, one of the guards pushed himself up and spat out, "Who the fuck are you!? Even if you are stronger than us, do you dare to enrage our Lord, Curator Turnbull?"
Before Zhen Shi could even begin to talk back, William jumped into action. Bringing out one of his sheathed swords, he dashed towards that particular guards and smacked him on the face with it.
The poor guard collapsed onto the ground, holding onto his stinging face which was now bright red
As all the guards looked up in shock, Will spat out, "Who the fuck are YOU!? My big bro slashed your Lord, over and over again, until he could do nothing but run away! Do you dare to enrage HIM?"
The guards were confused for a moment but quickly connected the dots to realize who they had just messed with. They had heard the matter about Lord Turnbull being beaten by a young disciple, but definitely hadn't thought they'd be unlucky enough to run into him!
Staring up at Zhen Shi, they couldn't help but shiver in fear while cursing their bad luck.
Zhen Shi turned to Will with praise in his eyes, 'This Will isn't too bad! He sure knows how to set up an audience!' Turning back towards the shivering guards, Zhen Shi stuck his chin up and flicked his sleeve in a grand fashion, "SCRAM!"
The guards didn't need to be told twice. They hurriedly bowed in apology and began to run away as fast as possible.
Seeing this, Zhen Shi frowned. A dangerous aura rising around him, he snorted in rage, "Give his weapon back... or live as a corpse!"
Hearing this, the guard who had stolen Lance's knife, felt a terrifying shiver run up his spine.
Terrified by Zhen Shi's sharp gaze, he ran back in a hurry and quickly placed the knife back in Lance's arms.
Blowing deeply, he sincerely apologized to the speechless Lance, again and again until Zhen Shi was satisfied.
Seeing that he was finally safe, the guard heaved a sigh of relief. Still terrified by what could happen if he stayed for too long, he began to run after his comrades who had already disappeared into the distance.
As the final guard disappeared into the horizon, Zhen Shi turned over to Lance with a smile, "Lance! Good to see you again. Thank you for trying to help us. I'm sorry that it placed you in danger."
Lance hurriedly shook his head, "There is no need for thanks. Master Myne treated me very generously back then. I was only doing what was expected. On the contrary, I should thank you for saving me. So, thank you, young master," and bowed gratefully.
William smiled as well. Lance might be weak in terms of power, but he seemed to be a genuine and grateful person.
As such, without any additional incentive from Zhen Shi, William unsheathed one of his swords and walked towards Lance. Raising his sword, he released a controlled sliver of sword light and easily slashed his chains apart.
As the chains fell down to the ground, Lance who was greatly impressed by the power of the sword intent, bowed down in thanks once more.
Sheathing his sword, Will O'Dale discretely sent a mental transmission to Zhen Shi, "Bro, this fellow probably won't be able to work as a guard anymore. Even if you can get Lord Lyon to employ him again, most of the time, Lord Lyon leaves the Market Hall on external matters. If we leave him, as weak as he is, I don't think he'll be able to live for long..."
Hearing this, Zhen Shi frowned. Nodding at Will, he fell into deep thought 'Should I help Lance? Maybe even recruit him? Even if he isn't strong, it would be rather funny to see Myne's face when that happens. But, still...'
In the end, Zhen Shi was unable to make a final decision.
Unaware of what was going on, Lance bowed once more, "Thank you for your help, young masters. I'll be on my way then," and began to walk away.
Seeing that Lance was actually leaving, Zhen Shi was rather surprised.
Even if Lance acted like an idiot, he should definitely know that he would be in trouble pretty soon. But the fact that he didn't expect any help from them, be it out of stupidity, bravery, or pride, was rather impressive.
Having seen this part of Lance's character, Zhen Shi finally made up his mind.
He spoke up in a loud and clear voice, "Lance, how would you like to join us? It might not pay as much as being a guard, but you won't ever be helpless like today. Besides, I'm sure Myne will be quite elated to have you on his side..."
Lance froze in surprise. He could easily see through the generous nature of this offer.
Considering the fact that these fellow disciples had such power and talent, enough to defeat a Curator of the Market Hall with much higher cultivation, their potential was basically limitless.
They definitely didn't need to recruit him, a middle-aged man who had already hit the limits of his potential. This was obviously an opportunity that was being offered to help him. It might as well be a second chance to restart his cultivation and grow stronger!
For a moment, he thought he was dreaming. However, the reality of the situation confirmed he wasn't.
Turning towards Zhen Shi, he carefully observed the young man who had given him this generous opportunity.
From today onwards, there would be two people that he genuinely respected.
Bowing towards Zhen Shi, Lance gripped the knife in his hands tightly, and spoke, "If you will have me, young master, I will serve you to the best of my ability."
Zhen Shi smiled and hurriedly walked forwards to help the fellow up, while thinking, 'This Lance is a bit too formal, that would have to be fixed.'
At that moment, Zhen Shi realized something quite interesting and funny.
Chasing after the Bull's tracks was what had led them to this situation.
If they hadn't, they would not have seen Lance in trouble and helped to free him. In fact, they would have completely forgotten about him.
As such, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the Bull had saved Lance! It was the Bull that had given Lance a second chance and changed his fate...